Lake area officials plan for mixture of hurricanes and oil

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As the stakes are getting higher in the Gulf, lake area officials are looking at ways to prepare for hurricane season if the storms and oil were to mix.

Officials from the lake area discussed hurricane preparation ideas at the 2010 Storm Ready meeting at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Tuesday, June 1st.

Meteorologists, Emergency Preparedness, and Entergy shared their thoughts on preparation when it comes to hurricanes and the oil spill.

The National Weather Service told 7News that they are predicting an active hurricane season this year with the possibility of 23 main storms.

However, the NWS said that the smooth waters with oil on top can lower evaporation, and even limit the strength of a hurricane and where a tropical storm can end up.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Calcasieu Parish said that they are prepared to handle a mixture of oil and a hurricane if it were to hit the coast.

The OHSEP had to deal with a similar situation when Hurricane Rita hit back in 2005.

"There were a lot of tanks, a lot of vessels, containers that did leak oil," said Dick Gremillion, Director of OHSEP in Calcasieu Parish. "So we don't think that's going to a cause a problem for us in the response phase."

The OHSEP said they plan to use a similar scenario to clean up the oil.

"We used booms to get the oil cleaned up," said Gremillion. "But it was a difficulty to go out and get those containers and put them back in one spot."

The OHSEP said they are preparing in advance this year because of the anticipated active hurricane season ahead.

For more information from the OHSEP on how to prepare for a hurricane, click on the link to the link to the right.

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